Now nobody loves a trip to Bettys more than me but there is so much more to Harrogate than this iconic institution – in fact I think you will find there is something to suit everyone on a visit to this leafy town.
So, whether you want to shop till you drop with the girls or you prefer a laid-back vibe with a few good beers, it could be time to take another look at Harrogate. Here’s some things to try while in town:
Visit the Montpellier Quarter
The Montpellier Quarter is described at Harrogate’s Hidden Gem and it’s the hub for independent shops as well as being home to the Antiques and Art Centre of the North with lots of independent traders.
It has a real cosmopolitan atmosphere and I recommend having a wander through Valley Gardens before taking a seat at your choice of great little cafes to watch the world go by.
Head out for dinner
You really will be spoilt for choice of where to eat in Harrogate. You’ll find all the usual favourites such as Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, Byron Burgers and Wagamamas. However there are also plenty of independent options including William and Victorias (traditional British), La Feria (Spanish Tapas), Norse (Nordic Cuisine) or the impressive Royal Baths Chinese Restaurant.
Catch a film
Harrogate is home to an Everyman Cinema, an altogether cooler and more stylish way to watch a film than your typical standard chains. Described as an ‘independent network of boutique cinemas’ ,one of the main features of Everyman is the distinctive lobby where you can enjoy some surprisingly good pre-film refreshments.
Shop till you drop
I love a day out shopping, whether I am looking to buy something or just want to browse. Options in Harrogate include favourites like The White Company, Phase Eight, Molton Brown and Cath Kidston. There is also Hoopers department store as well as a good choice of interior design stores, indepedent boutiques and gift shops.
Stop for a beer
Craft beers have become hugely popular in recent years and more people than ever are partial to an IPA or a micro brewed real ale.
Harrogate has embraced this culture and bars specialising in craft beers have popped up all over the town. Options to try include Major Toms Social, the Little Ale House and North Bar.
A big night out
If you fancy painting the town red then I recommend heading to John Street. This cobbled alleyway is home to a number of great bars including Banyan, Pitcher and Piano, Las Iguanas and HG1.
All have a large selections of cocktails – perfect for a night out with the girls.
Head to Cold Bath Road
One of my favourite parts of Harrogate is Cold Bath Road. It has a great mix of cafes, bars and shops – just perfect for mooching along on a lazy day.
Shop choices range from gardening to interiors and childrens gifts. Bars include The Last Post (a cosy pub with a great range of beer) and Fisk (a more sophisticated champagne bar and seafood restaurant).
Walk to Weetons
No trip to Harrogate is complete without a visit to Weetons, one of the best butchers and delicatessens around. It overlooks The Stray so my advice is to walk through this pretty park either on the way there or back.
There’s no shortage of cafes in Harrogate to call in for a coffee and cake or a spot of brunch. There are great choices all over town and favourites include Hoxton North, Stuzzi, Filmore and Union and Baltzersens.
So there you have it. The only question is how will you spend your time in Harrogate. And for somewhere to stay take a look at The Penthouse, a stunning retro styled apartment that’s within walking distance of the town centre.